Ian Clark's On Hockey: Monarchs go from thick to thin on D
The Manchester Monarchs were so stocked with defensemen a week ago that talented players were forced to sit.
But heading into today's 3 p.m. game at Worcester, the Monarchs (5-2-0) are down to five healthy men along the blue line.
Andrew Campbell is out for an extended period of time with an undisclosed upper body injury and David Kolomatis was hurt in Friday's 3-0 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and his outlook is not good.
"It appears as though it's pretty serious," said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. "It looks to be long-term."
So much for all that depth.
"It's the nature of the game," Morris said. "You're going to have those times when you're overstocked and others where you're looking for bodies to play the position."
Morris indicated that Mike Matczak, who was spent the preseason with the Monarchs, was being added to the roster but was not sure if he would make it in time to play today.
Manchester could also be without forward Andrei Loktionov, who was banged up in Friday's game as well.
"We've been hitting on all cylinders, now we'll see if we can overcome this," Morris said.
The Monarchs are at least in better shape up front than on the blue line as Friday's game had four healthy scratches at forward who can fill in for Loktionov.
Manchester is home at Verizon Wireless Arena for three games this week, Wednesday (7 p.m. vs. St. John's), Friday (Bridgeport 7 p.m.) and Saturday for "Mullet Night" against Providence at 7 p.m.
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Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff spent three full seasons with Manchester and returned to town Friday to blank his former mates 2-0.
Now with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Zatkoff got a chance to spend time with former teammates, including fellow goalie Martin Jones.
"We had dinner (Thursday) night. He's a top-notch goalie, probably one of the best in the league," Zatkoff said. "When you play against a good goalie like that, it allows you to push yourself on that night."
Jones said it was nice to spend some time with Zatkoff, but the pleasantries ended at faceoff.
"It was good to see him. But come game time, I don't think anyone was trying to be too nice to him," Jones said. "He played well (Friday) but we'll get him next time.
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Ian Clark covers pro hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.